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Isaiah Brown shooting: Lawyer calls for release of additional 911 audio

Posted at 8:28 AM, Apr 26, 2021

Family members of a Virginia man who was shot multiple times by a sheriff’s deputy last week spoke publicly on Monday alongside their lawyer, who called for accountability within the department.

The family said Monday that 34-year-old Isaiah Brown’s condition remains “touch and go” after he was shot during an incident with the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday morning.

“I’m numb. I think we’re all kind of numb,” said Yolanda Brown, Isaiah’s sister. “It’s just a lot.”

"My concern at this point is for my son to come home alive," said Jennifer Brown, Isaiah's mother.

David Haynes, the family’s lawyer, says that Brown was shot by the yet-to-be identified deputy 10 times during the incident after he says that deputy mistook a cordless home telephone for a weapon.

Officials with the sheriff’s department released audio of 911 calls and officer-worn body camera footage related to the shooting on Friday.

The first time Brown is seen on the body camera footage, the 32-year-old man has already been shot multiple times by the still-unidentified sheriff’s deputy.

Investigators said the deputy was responding to a domestic disturbance call at a home around 3 a.m. local time. In the 911 call, Brown can be heard threatening to kill his brother while on the phone with the dispatcher. However, Brown also said on the call that he was not armed.

Haynes said Monday that the same officers that responded to the scene were the same officers that had helped Brown during a nearby vehicle breakdown less than an hour beforehand. He added that the family incident that sparked the 911 call “was not a violent situation” or a “situation involving (family) friction."

Body camera video shows Isaiah Brown shooting in Spotsylvania

The audio recording shows Brown was on the phone with a dispatcher at the time the deputy arrived. The dispatcher is heard telling Brown to “hold your hands up” as the sirens draw near.

The body camera video shows the deputy arriving at the scene and yelling at Brown to show his hands. The deputy then yells, “drop the gun,” multiple times and appears to say over his radio, “he’s got a gun to his head.” The deputy then yells, “stop walking towards me, stop walking towards me” and “stop, stop” before firing at least seven shots.

It is unclear whether the deputy knew Brown told the dispatcher he wasn’t armed or knew Brown was walking down the street with a cordless house phone.

On Monday, Haynes called for the release of additional audio by the sheriff's department.

"We are demanding today that all audio be released," Haynes said.

The family said Monday that Brown was shot 10 times during the incident. Haynes said doctors have described Browns' condition as "touch-and-go."

Audio of 911 call released in Isaiah Brown shooting

Spotsylvania Sheriff Roger Harris said in a video statement that the deputy, who he said “immediately rendered lifesaving first aid” to Brown and has not been identified, is on administrative leave.

“At the recommendation of the commonwealth's attorney, a special prosecutor in this case was appointed,” Harris said.

Virginia State Police are investigating the shooting.

The local chapter of the NAACP helped negotiate the release of the footage and 911 call.

Julius Spain with the Virginia State Conference NAACP said that while an independent review of the incident is a good start, questions remain unanswered.

“I’m really curious to know when the call came in, what were the conversations between the dispatcher and the sheriff who showed up on the scene,” Spain said.

During Monday's press conference, family members described Brown as a upstanding citizen working in elder care.

"Anybody knows if you call on Isaiah, he'll be there," Yolanda Brown said. "He has a good heart, he's a good person."

This story was originally published by Jake Burns on Scripps station WTKR in Richmond, Virginia.